'There is no room for a Palestinian state in this tiny area'
Tuesday 22 January 2013
If every Israeli voted at the secondary school in Efrat – a Jewish settlement in the West Bank – Naftali Bennett would almost certainly be the country’s next prime minister.
But then Efrat is a natural support base for Mr Bennett's Jewish Home party, whose religious right-wing mantra, and especially its specific opposition to a Palestinian state, is popular among the settlers.
"He's an honest man and I agree with his policies, especially when it comes to the Palestinians," Benjamin Lamb, a retired 66-year-old, said. "There is no room for a Palestinian state in this tiny area. They should have autonomy, like the Kurds in Iraq, but all this talk of two states, the Palestinians already have a state, in Jordan."
Mr Lamb is in a minority, not only in his opposition to a Palestinian state, but also in believing that the Palestinian question is the most important issue for voters at this election. Politicians have campaigned on the economy, and in particular the rising cost of living, more than the peace process. But voters at four polling stations visited by The Independent all referenced the Palestinians.
Back in central Jerusalem, 20-year-old Tahea Mirkovia was voting for the first time. "I want peace and I'll do anything for it," she said after casting her ballot for the left-wing Meretz party.
The face of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is plastered all over Jerusalem, but it was not easy to find voters backing him today. Avraham Schriger, in Efrat, was one who has become disenchanted. "Four years ago, I was a member of Likud. Jewish Home was very small and at that time was not big enough to have any influence. This time it is different. Jewish Home has offered new values, with lots of energy – it is growing into something much larger."
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Michelle Obama highlights harsh restrictions faced by Saudi women after meeting King Salman without wearing a headscarf
Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
Sir David Attenborough interview: The one question about life that still baffles him
Isis publicly behead man in Syrian town square for 'insulting Allah' as he screams for help
- 3 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
- 4 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 5 Isis publicly behead man in Syrian town square for 'insulting Allah' as he screams for help
£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...
£60000 per annum: Ashdown Group: SQL DBA (SSIS, ETL) - Central London, £60,000...
£13000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Pension Specialist was established ...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join an est...